Jim Bouton's writing career started in 1969 with BALL FOUR, the funny, controversial, all-time bestseller that revealed baseball players as human beings. At that time, Bouton had already won many games as a major league pitcher for the New York Yankees, making the all-star team in 1963 and beating the Cardinals twice in the 1964 World Series.
BALL FOUR was recently selected by the New York Public Library as one of the "Books of the Century."
In 1970, Bouton retired from baseball and became a television sportscaster in New York where he helped WABC-TV and then WCBS-TV climb to 1st place in the ratings. During the 70's he wrote a sequel to BALL FOUR entitled I'M GLAD YOU DIDN'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY, earned good reviews in a Robert Altman movie, THE LONG GOODBYE, and created, wrote and acted in a CBS network
TV sitcom based on his book.
In 1978, Bouton made a comeback to baseball with the Atlanta Braves. When the 39-year-old knuckleballer beat the San Francisco Giants 4-1, it was his first major league win in eight years. During his comeback, Bouton helped create Big League Chew, shredded bubble gum in a pouch, which replaced chewing tobacco at many high schools and colleges.
In 1996, Bouton received the highest honor of his career when he was featured in THE SPORTS 100: THE 100 MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN AMERICAN SPORTS HISTORY, published by Macmillan. In 1997 Bouton wrote his first novel, STRIKE ZONE, which is now in paperback.
In 2003 Bouton self-published FOUL BALL: MY LIFE AND HARD TIMES TRYING TO SAVE AN OLD BALLPARK his first diary since BALL FOUR.